World Cup 2026 qualifying: Ivory Coast clinch second win, Kenya thrash Seychelles, Mali held at home

Christian Kouame in action for Ivory Coast
Christian Kouame plays his club football for Italian Serie A side Fiorentina

Ivory Coast continued their perfect start in 2026 Fifa World Cup qualifiers with a 2-0 away win over The Gambia in Group F.

Elsewhere on Monday, Kenya and Madagascar secured their first victories of the campaign as Mali were held at home by Central African Republic.

Equatorial Guinea also made it two wins from two, and Guinea-Bissau registered their first group win to kick-start their bid for qualification.

Ivory Coast on track

Christian Kouame put the Elephants ahead on the stroke of half-time, steering in from the middle of the box after Oumar Diakite had a shot saved by Gambia goalkeeper Modou Jobe.

Midfielder Kouame had struck a powerful volley against the crossbar moments before, with a follow-up effort from Brighton winger Simon Adingra cleared off the line.

Seko Fofana made sure of the points in a match played in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, with a fierce long-range strike in the 85th minute.

The West Africans move above Gabon to top Group F on goal difference, having beaten Seychelles 9-0 in their opener on Friday.

Kenya are up to third in the group, three points adrift of the leaders, after a 5-0 win over Seychelles in the Ivorian city of Abidjan.

Michael Olunga scored two goals inside the first six minutes with Masoud Juma netting on the stroke of half-time.

Rooney Onyango and Benson Omala struck in the second half to get Kenya’s campaign back on track after their opening defeat to Gabon.

Mali held at home in Group I

There were two matches in Group I on Monday evening. Leaders Mali were restricted to a 1-1 draw in Bamako by Central African Republic.

Kamory Doumbia put the Malians ahead after 76minutes but just three minutes later CAR equalised through Geoffrey Kondogbia.

Madagascar are a point behind Mali after a 3-0 win in their away match to Chad which was played in neutral Morocco.

A Njiva Rakotoharimalala double and a late goal from Loic Lapoussin helped Madagascar get their first points after their opening defeat to Ghana.

Comoros, who also have three points, host Ghana on Tuesday.

Former Middlesbrough and Birmingham City man Emilio Nsue guided in a ninth-minute header to give Equatorial Guinea a 1-0 win in their away game against Liberia.

The hosts had Nohan Kenneh sent off in first-half injury time for a second bookable offence and could not find a way back into the contest in Monrovia.

The National Thunder move top of Group H, three points ahead of Tunisia and Malawi, who face each other on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Guinea-Bissau sealed a 1-0 away victory over Djibouti in Cairo, Egypt, despite having defender Houboulang Mendes dismissed with eight minutes remaining.

Mauro Rodrigues netted the only goal six minutes before the break after pouncing on a poor clearance inside the area, and the West Africans are now on four points in Group A, two behind leaders Egypt.

Africa has a guaranteed nine qualifiers for the 2026 finals in Canada, Mexico and the United States, with all group winners booking a spot at the tournament.